Cross-Border Value Chain Development: A Rough Guide to Market Systems Development for Decent Work

As a result of rapid globalization, decrease in barriers and costs of trade and increased sales opportunities in emerging markets, value chains that begin and end entirely within the confines of a single national jurisdiction have become rare.

On the one hand, internationalization of value chains has brought many positive opportunities for both workers and enterprises in developing countries such as capture of shares of the value-added within the chains, benefits from skills and technologies spill-overs, job creation and wage increases in participating economies.
On the other hand, the rise of cross-border value chains has facilitated social and environmental “dumping”, contributed to disrupt local economies in the short term due to weak competitiveness and worsen working conditions in local markets.

This guide intends to help value chain practitioners to account for the added complexities arising from the cross-border nature of value chains, and understand the impactions on decent work such that they can magnify positive effects and minimise negative ones.

The guide builds on the Guide to Value Chain Development for Decent Work and the ILO experience accumulated in market systems development projects.